Portland School Notebook: June 14

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Cheverus student named National Merit Scholar

Steven H. Larkin of Scarborough, who attends Cheverus High School in Portland, has been awarded a 2017 National Merit Scholarship. In all, 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 finalists. National Merit 2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

Students invited to be a ‘poster child’ for attendance

Count ME In is sponsoring the third annual student poster contest to engage students ages 6-17 in promoting school attendance. Students are invited to create a design for the 2017 Attendance Awareness Month celebration in September. The contest is an opportunity for students to share their views on why school attendance is important. Students can participate from any school, summer program or home. The deadline is July 18. The winning posters will be reproduced with the artist’s name on the poster and distributed throughout Maine. In addition, the winning artists will receive Amazon Gift Cards. Guidelines for contest details can be found at http://bit.ly/2riVbIF.

Waynflete co-hosting benefit concert in Westbrook

The Mugadi Foundation, in association with Waynflete School is hosting a Michael O benefit concert July 13, at The Westbrook Performing Arts Center in Westbrook. The 6 p.m. concert by Michael Odokara-Okigbo is a fundraiser for the Mugadi Foundation, with shared proceeds going to support a financial aid fund in Michael’s name at the Waynflete School, specifically in support of tuition for students from resettled refugee families. The concert will also serve as a preview for Michael’s new music , which is being released throughout 2017. Tickets for the event are $25 and all of the proceeds will benefit the two programs. Portland radio personality Lori Voornas from Q97.9 will emcee the event, which will also feature an opening set of music from popular local jazz/funk trio Micromasse.

The Mugadi Foundation was founded by Odokara-Okigbo when he was 14. Mugadi (which means ‘I will live’ in the Igbo language) was created in 2004 to help pay for the school fees granted to orphanages located in Lagos, Nigeria. The foundation was established due to a trip Odokara-Okigbo made with his mother to an HIV/AIDS orphanage in November 2004. Odokara-Okigbo said he was shocked with how much trouble they had finding funding for education, but was also surprised to see how similar the children were to him. They love to laugh, play with friends, but, most of all, just be kids. When he returned, Odokara-Okigbo created a photo exhibit of 14 stories, which he showed in hospitals, schools and museums. It was a huge success and prompted him to create the Mugadi Foundation.

Waynflete announces graduates earning cum laude status

Waynflete has announced the names of seniors who graduated cum laude June 9 in the Class of 2017: Grace Bramley-Simmons, Tim Clifford, Matt Foshay, Kelley Frumer, Owen Gervais, Sebastian Lindner-Liaw, Josh Lodish, Elisabeth Lualdi, Kiera MacWhinnie, Sophia Mayone, Jack Meahl, Willson Moore, Althea Sellers and Emily Woods.

Casco Bay releases list of top-tier students

The following seniors graduated summa cum laude June 8 at Casco Bay High School: HayiaAlRifaie; Kiera Badger; Frances Bliss; Fan Tai Bridges, Grace Callahan; Aidan Carter, Meghana Clere, Skyler Cummings, Helen Cunningham, Conor Doane, Marcos Edgar, Kobi Eng, Handanos, Lukas Handanos,  Esme Howland, Sophia Leavitt, Madegan Thompson Lynch, Liva Pierce, Jane Rooks, Luciana Santerre, Rosemary Santoro, Emma Schwartz, Luca Serio, Thomas Sheils, Jasper Sommer, Wyeth Spike, Violet Sulka/Hewes, Matthew Suslovic, Lucy Tabb, Grace Victor.